The Adventure of Living: A Subjective Autobiography (1860-1922)

The Adventure of Living: A Subjective Autobiography (1860-1922)

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The Adventure of Living: A Subjective Autobiography (1860-1922)

The Adventure of Living: A Subjective Autobiography (1860-1922)

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is with great pleasure that I accept Major Putnam's suggestion that I should write a special preface to the American edition of my autobiography. Major Putnam, I, and the Spectator, are a triumvirate of old friends, and I should not be likely to refuse a request made by him, even if its fulfilment was a much less agreeable task than that of addressing an American audience.

I was born with a mind which might well be described as Anima naturaliter Americana. I have always loved America and the Americans, and, though I cannot expect them to feel for me as I feel for them, I cherish the belief that, at any rate, they do not dislike me instinctively. That many of them regard me as somewhat wild and injudicious in my praise of their country I am well aware. They hold that I often praise America not only too much, but that I praise her for the wrong things, -- praise, indeed, where I ought to censure, and so "spoil" their countrymen. Well, if that is a true bill, all I can say is that it is too late to expect me to mend my ways.

During my boyhood people here understood Americamuch less than they do now. Though I should be exaggerating if I said that there was anything approaching dislike of America or Americans, there were certain intellectual people in England who were apt to parade a kind of conscious and supercilious patronage of the wilder products of American life and literature. I heard exag-

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